Saturday, April 14, 2012

- Getting my Art On

When I hosted Easter it became a little too obvious that I've had a blank canvas hanging in my living room for like...ever.  I think it took me so long to tackle because it is by far my largest undertaking on canvas.  And guys, I am not an artist.  Like on the scale of 1 to Artist, I'm at most a -20.  Not to mention - the larger the canvas - the more expensive it is.  And while I'd bought this one on sale...I still didn't want it to end up in a catastrophe.

After cleaning up the kitchen and watching the finale of the Masters (fantastic shot from Bubba to win it) and skyping with Kelsey, I decided I had mustered up about as much courage as I ever would in this situation.  Originally I had planned to paint with chopsticks - a la Jamie Meares style, but in the trial run this just didn't work out.  Luckily, the chopstick idea had sparked a plan B - so I just went in that direction.

The only thing really set in stone with this painting, was that I wanted it to heavily feature kelly green.  Which is why I did this first:
I'm not sure what this is.  I wasn't sure how I felt about this.  I tend to look at it from the left of the profile...where it looks like a weird alien body with tentacles.  Although, if you look at the right profile it looks more like a girl with her hair blowing in the wind.  I got all of these effects by applying the paint to a flat canvas, which then I shook back and forth along the floor to get the paint spread out evenly.  Then I propped the canvas up and rotated it a variety of ways to get the drips.

For the second color I went pink.
And I learned that the consistency of the paint in this process was an important factor.  That pink was really gloppy so it didn't flatten out into a smooth layer, which was fine, because I liked the texture, but that also means it wasn't super great at creating the drips.  I also had to be careful with the placement, because when it intersected with the green blob it looked a bit too much like was giving the alien some eyes.  Since there's a lot of navy in that part of the room I wanted to work with that tone but not match it exactly.  So, next I added a dark teal or marine color.  
Here's an up close shot of how the colors mixed together with the help of gravity.  And how there were some splatters, which I also really like.
Next I chose to add a citrus-y green color which I hoped would have enough yellow undertones to play nicely with that color which is used pretty heavily in pillows on the couch.
Shortly after I started trying to manipulate the drips with gravity I came up with the idea of using a straw and blowing on them to get them to go a bit further/mix a little better.  It was really neat because in some cases when one color was running on another, if I just blew on it a bit I could bring back the color that was being covered up and mix it in.  Here's a close up of how I brought the green back after this pink had covered it.  
That lighter pink was the last color I added.  I just wanted one shot of it and the goal was to bring in the color of the small dresser this canvas hangs over.  It's painted "ballet slipper" which is really more lavender than the pinks I have in the living room.  I had planned to paint the dresser yellow, but after having it in the living room for some time it turns out I really like it as is and think it works pretty well.  I thought using that color in the canvas would kind of seal the deal on making it look liked it belonged.  Here is what the final looked like as I left it flat to dry over night.
And here it is all set up in it's new home.  
I've had about a week to get used to it and I'm really digging the way it turned out.  I hung it up Monday before I went to work so it was kind of like a surprise when I got home since I hadn't really had time to determine if I liked it yet.  But I do.  A lot.  


Mams said...

I like it too! And the pink pulls in the pink dresser...great job!

Kelsey Ryan said...

Lot it. Good to finally see what you were working so hard on that lovely day.